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tv   [untitled]    April 13, 2011 5:30am-6:00am PDT

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>> the plan would create a seasonal leash restriction? >> it is confusing to people. and i am the right amount cannot? 10 months -- right month or not? 10 months versus 12. the 12 month closure in the are a 00-- supervisor mar: and i would be interested in the other groups information. the unofficial reports of a dog injuring or killing one. >> i am not aware of that as a factual statement. the birds have been disturbed by
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dogs on both christie in the ocean beach. -- and ocean beach. the federal law drums the dog policy at local level. -- trumps the dog policy at the local level. supervisor mar: next, we are going to hear from the recreation and parks department. thank you. >> good afternoon, supervisors. i am here today to give you some information on our off-leash dog areas. and briefly discussed some of the impact that we expect if the proposed management plan goes into effect.
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like the golden gate national recreation area, our parks department is to have some sensitive national areas and endangered species. our job is to balance multiple users needs to recreates and enjoy nature. we understand what they are trying to achieve. i think you all have a copy of this map. we have approved 28 dog play areas or dpa's. each one was discussed and agreed upon through a lengthy process and brought to the commission and approved there.
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each one of the dog play areas as opposed to have the french group -- is supposed to have a fringe group. it creates a sense of community of around the dog area. we have had mixed results with that. it is important to note that while we have to find a dog play areas, we just had this issue in her district of folks using an athletic field for off-leash dog use. we struggle to enforce our off- leash rule. this is just a brief list. i apologize.
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they are spread pretty much throughout the city. people have easy access to locations. i have included a map of where the ggnra's proposed changes would be. it is important to note that we have many of the same challenges, over 80% of our dogs are near sensitive natural habitats. while we do have a lot that we share with the ggnra, we have concerns about this plan. most importantly, the study does not adequately speak to land
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outside the golden gate area. we think that is problematic. if you restrict access to a certain area of the city, they will necessarily go somewhere else. it will cause an additional maintenance burden for the city. we also have some anecdotal evidence from last month. the environmental study also references limiting the number of dogs the professional dog walkers are allowed to have with them at any time. the city does not currently have either of those things in place.
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while they are ideas that have been discussed. it and could be problematic n.y. -- it could be problematic if there are different rules in different jurisdictions. people continue to work collaborative the tomatoes as seamless as possible. the 75% compliance language presents a significant concerns for us. if the areas continue to progress to no dogs, the burden on city properties would be even more significant.
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our largest concern come but we don't have the empirical data or a good way to evaluate the tax on city land because the document did not study where the users are coming from, how often they frequent the place, the particular location. and where they might go instead if certain areas are not available. that is a brief wrap up of our concerns. >supervisor cohen: i was curious to know if you've had any conversation to address your
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concerns? >> we have met twice. supervisor cohen: were your concerns addressed? how did they end to them? candidate knowledge them? -- did they acknowledge them? >> yes. we share borders on a variety of properties. the question for the city now becomes the process by which it concerns our address. i can let the superintendent answer that question, but he is pretty clear about the concerns of our department. supervisor cohen: i was curious to know if you had an opportunity to sit down with rec
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and park to discuss the addressing of their concerns. >> we spoke to the city park and direct manager. most recently, when the plan was about to be released, we walk themand we did talk about the concern that they raise about the potential impact. we don't have a lot of data. nor do they. it is somewhat speculative as well. we were willing to work with the city to try and sort that out. we are putting them in different
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places. some of their dog parks are underutilized. i don't know if that is true, but it seems like there is flexibility there. it seems that the city has rules in place that we are trying to do ourselves. it seems awkward that we are being asked not to enforce rules that we have in other national parks and the city has the same rules. supervisor cohen: thank you. supervisor wiener: in terms of the issues that have been discussed, are they in agreement with those or is it an ongoing discussion? >> hi would say it is an ongoing
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discussion. the idea of the commercial dog walkers, the number of permits and the dogs that we might have, it makes sense that they will do something jointly. they continue to maintain that if this plan is implemented, there will be impacts on city parks. supervisor mar: i was going to ask you, that looks likel the ggnra plan would eliminate off- leash dog areas in land's end and baker beach. it impacts a small partof my dist -- part of my district and the presidio.
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i am looking at the recreation and park off-leash areas of the city. i know that they say we have 30 off-leash dog parks. we have more than boston, denver, sacramento combined. there are very few off-leash dog areas in the western part of the city decides the areas that you mentioned. there is only a couple on the western edge. there seems to be one in the northwestern edge. what do you think will be the impact on those areas to eliminate those areas? >> that is probably the most significant area of concern.
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the dog training area could be heavily impacted. the one thing that is worth noting is from an environmental perspective if users can no longer walk two locations near their house -- to locations near their house. mclarran park has one of the largest off-leash dog areas in our system. there is also an environmental impact if people are driving there. supervisor mar: next we will hear from the director of animal care and control.
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>> i am the director of san francisco animal care and control. you will hear an great deal of testimony to data what might be lacking in the draft but the management environmental impact statement. you will hear more about the prospective impact of users, but i will take this opportunity to address this plan as it relates to animal welfare. we also provide rescue and facilitate wildlife rehabilitation for sick, injured, and orphaned animals. we are an advocate for dogs as well as for other animal welfare issues.
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the dog management plan notes that the plan is designed to ensure the protnatural, cultural resources. they share our concerns about the impact on native wildlife. the issue has come forward to the board of supervisors as a matter of choosing the site of dogs or that of natural resources. this is not viewed as an either or situation. we share concerns about wildlife and economic impact. it did not clearly demonstrate that the presence of off leash dog is the sole or primary cause of damage to native species. the mere fact of off-leash dog as being present does not lead to an automatic conclusion that they have the impact of an area that is also frequented by people without jobs or by people
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with dogs on leash, horses, hangliders, atv's or other predatory wildlife. the enforcement that could ultimately lead to an outright ban and does not contemplate the bay area. the preferred alternative is overly restrictive given that the national park service's are educating users about what is required for coexistence. most of that has been done by a dog organizations. it seems that the national park service does not consider various options prior to the implementing restrictions. they could implement an adaptive management plan that includes fencing in the enforcement of laws or rules, licensing laws,
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or parent adoptions. we met with the superintendent and director of communications to discuss our concerns. we share their concerns about visitor and employee safety. we live like to work with them on solutions that would allow for more flexibility and coming up with a plan to address the need of residents in both human and nonhuman. up to this point, they have not been receptive to compromises. peaceful coexistence requires understanding in the movement from both sides. it is the only way that a city like san francisco concede solutions to our challenges. without a firm commitment to consider the concerns of san francisco stakeholders, i feel compelled to oppose the dog management plan that
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dramatically changes the nature of the current and intended use. i am available for questions as well. supervisor mar: thank you very much. we also have representatives from the port of san francisco. >> good afternoon, supervisors. i am environmental manager in the development division. i came today to be here in case there were any questions specific to open spaces. i would like to offer him some information that because of the nature and location of parks and open spaces, most of them are not significantly used by off- leash dog or by a on-leashed
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dogs. there are two exceptions. there is more use of those areas by dog owners. of those, only those on the southern waterfront just adjacent to the former hunters point power plant, it is governed by a policy prohibiting all off-leash dog use. with expansion of the park and construction of improvements, we are going to be constructing a dog play area just outside of the current boundaries. as i mentioned, our parks and open spaces tend to not be close to sensitive habitats. the park is a significant exception to that. we struggle with enforcement of
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the leash policy. supervisor wiener: next we will hear from the golden gate audubon society. >> i am the conservation director. i am here to speak on behalf of several members of our coalition. i want to start by providing a little bit of perspective about where we are coming at this issue. people have asked for more regulation in dog management and are characterized as anti-god.
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our members care about their welfare. these are people that dedicate significant portions of their time in order to make the world a safer place for animals and habitats. and also, when we are coming at this, someone asked if there were direct impact. the reports that we have on those are fairly anecdotal. they probably could provide an example of those where it mauled a bird's head. no one saw it. they draped it over the sign that said "wildlife protection area. this is the kind of environment that i am dealing with.
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this is the scion who at ocean beach -- sign at ocean beach. someone put bags of dog feces. the majority of dog owners do not behave this way. but there are signs and a fence. they continue to walk their dogs of leash even though there is a sign warning them to do so. we are working in an environment where the habitats are treated like disposable goods. especially when their protection is an inconvenience to us. many of these species are in significant declines. we know that the ggnra is an important area.
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it protect more federally and listed species than any other park in the area. we also know that once these species are gone, they are usually gone for good. dogs in san francisco have on earth that love and care for them. wildlife are under the guardianship of all of us. even though we don't take them home or give them names, we believe that they still deserved the integrity of their life. they should be able to live without harassment or disturbance. current dog management status quo is inhumane and is not sustainable from a management point of view, the parks service, and it is not fair to the committee. this brings me to specific points i want to make about the dog management plan in general. it does not go far i enough to
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protect wildlife, their habitats, and other park users. this is also not just about birds or certain plants. it is about the experience of other park users. they find their experience negatively affected by off-leash dog. we believe that the areas are inadequate. they should be fenced and well marked. we have noticed for example where the area is not well enclosed, noncompliance has a lot more dogs outside then there are when they are fenced. we also think that the plan probably underestimates the impact that dog related impact will have on the ecosystem and other park users. we received many reports from our members and committee members about how dog related
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recreation has stopped them from places. many have reported being charged or bitten. in the packet that i gave you, was a petition written in 2005 asking for these regulations. in that, you will find an example of the documented instances of dogs biting people or negative interactions with the dogs and people in the park. this is a real problem and should not be swept under the rug. despite its flaws, we believe the proposed plan is a significant first step towards making the park more manageable at a sustainable way. the park is there not only for our generation, but for future generations. this is something that the biologists have decided that they need to come up with a
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management role to make them sustainable. it is a very comprehensive eis. it could be improved. but i would encourage the supervisors to read it independently and the oldest listen to my talking points. provide an independent review of its and look at related studies. ask yourself and everyone else hard questions about your conclusions so that you can come up with a good policy before you pass any resolution. it was drafted before any hearing on this matter. it does not seem like adequate fact-finding occurred. i would like to point out some of the examples. some of the problems that we have with the resolution, this comes to impact about parks and
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the city. the plan does not eliminate job- related recreation. in most places, dogs will be prohibited or it will be on- leash in a paved area or a park. they will be able to go to all but one trail. in the 75% requirement is too low. and we know that noncompliance and breeds more noncompliance and that is not acceptable. we want a more persistent environment. we also know that there has to be some degree of accountability and self regulation within the
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community itself. this has been an ongoing problem, but we have not seen in compliance either within ggnra or any self regulation. we don't see any evidence that the plan will lead to more behavioral problems with dogs. this is a very legitimate concern. we understand that. it allows for very large off- leash areas and we have at least 28 if not more off-leash areas with more being planned. those provide the responsible dog owners will have adequate opportunity to socialize and exercise their dogs. if this plan is not enough, and there is so much more than any other city, we have to ask how much is enough?
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finally, we don't see any evidence of the parks being impacted by the policy. dogs are welcome in the city parks or recreation is tolerated despite being in to the law. of what to say one last thing about recreation whether it is the national park or however you want to turn that. what the park service must do is decide what is appropriate recreation and what is not. and what are appropriate levels there? that is no longer the case because it is an inappropriate use. we all accept certain restrictions in order to protect the common good. there is inappropriate regulation of recreational opportunities. those are

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